In December, I’m doing blogs on business planning in both this blog and my blog for managers, Management in a Minute. Check often for complimentary forms and training.

Do you have a business plan for next year? Is it in a format that I could actually follow if you delegated running your business  to me? I doubt over 5% of the real estate professionals could answer that question ‘yes’. Yet, we all talk about the importance of a business plan. Here are five of ten critical points you must have in your business plan to make it a plan that actually works for you, not just a thesis that looks important on the shelf!

1. Spend much more time in review.

Your plan must include an in-depth review of the past year, or, better yet, the trends of the past three years—both inside and outside your business. Your plan must draw conclusions about this review, so you can use what you learned in planning for the next year. Write it out, so you can remember why you’re making the moves in that next year.

Click here to see the areas you should review.

2. Analyze your budget vs. actual expenses.

Measure your last year’s budget versus your actual expenses—and do an analysis of what happened along the way. How can you set up your budget for the next year without analyzing last year’s budget and consequences?

3. Create separate action plans for each area of responsibility.

Create separate action plans for each of your areas of responsibility: Financial/operations/planning/technology, lead generation, marketing (inc. social media). That way, you’re actually creating a road map to use every day, not just a broad brush picture.

4. Use the strategic planning process to think through your business.

Use a strategic, or thought-out approach to each of the planning areas—based on your vision, mission, and positioning of the company. Don’t just copy a particular company because they’re successful. It may not be ‘like you’.

5. Be sure your objectives are measurable.

Write measurable objectives in each of the action plan areas—so you know what you’re shooting for and can celebrate the attainments. For example, in lead generation, decide on measurable production goals that should result from your lead generating efforts. 

New Business Planning Series

If you’re unsure how to start your plan, if you don’t see the benefit of planning, I’ve got some answers for you.  I’ve been working on business planning for years……and I’ve just come up with a series that I think answers questions like, “How do I get started? How do I know what numbers to put in? How can I make my plan useful?  How will I know that it works?”

I call this big program Come See 2012: Beyond the Basics of Business Planning. In it, I’ve created 2 webinars to walk you right through the planning process. I’ve made it simple and straightforward–but not so simple it won’t work!  Along with that, I’ve provided the most updated versions of my planning documents–15 of them!

In addition, I’ve added several bonuses:

  • From the Coach: 53 Pointers for your Business Plan
  • Biggest Marketing Dos and Don’ts
  • Especially for teams: How to use the planning process to teamify and inspire

All for a VERY affordable price of $79. Why not let me walk you through the process, provide inspiration, and confidence that your plan will work to give you a great 2012? Click here for more information and purchase.